Thursday, 27 February 2014

Casino Dice

Casinos don't take any chances when it comes to profit so they don't use just any dice when thousands of dollars are riding on a roll.

Casino dice are called perfect or precision dice because of the way they are made.

They are as close to being perfect true cubes as possible, measured to within a fraction of a millimetre, manufactured so each die has an absolutely equal chance of landing on any one of its six faces.

Casino dice are specially hand made to within a tolerance of 0.0005 of an inch.

The spots are drilled and filled with material that is equal in weight to the material removed.

See full article at

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

This Friday or next Friday?

Q: Quandary - Some friends and I were talking about a day in the future (Friday, say, when we go for our weekly lunch) and we ended up in nice discussion about next versus this.
On Wednesday we might say "Let's do this this Friday".
On Saturday we might say "Let's do this next Friday".
But, on Thursday if we said "Let's do this next Friday I would think it's the week Friday and not tomorrow."
Shouldn't we have day limits on "next" and "this"?

A: We probably should, but we don't. As a general rule, "this Friday" should be the immediate Friday in our future, whether we're talking about it on Saturday or Thursday. "Next Friday" should be the following Friday. In practice, however, many people use the terms interchangeably, and confusingly.

The British and some Commonwealth countries have a useful expression: "Let's meet for lunch on Friday week"—that is, one week after the coming Friday. I have no idea why Canadians and Americans prefer the longer "a week from Friday."


Sunday, 23 February 2014

Don't bet the farm

The idiom bet the farm is often preceded by words of caution, as in "I wouldn't bet the farm on that new invention if I were you," or "He might offer you the position, but don't bet the farm on it."

It literally means to risk virtually everything on a single investment, idea or opportunity.

See full article at

Friday, 21 February 2014

Hat Etiquette for Men

Removing your hat is considered to be a gesture of respect for certain occasions and in certain places. Keeping your hat on during these occasions and in these places is a gesture of disrespect.

All hats, including baseball caps and knit caps, should be removed when the wearer is indoors, including in private homes and restaurants. Although it is not necessary for the hat wearer to remove his hat in public places such as lobbies, corridors, and elevators.

Hats should be removed during the singing of the National Anthem, the passing of the American flag, funeral processions, and during formal outdoor occasions such as weddings and dedications.

After removing your hat, hold it so that the inside of the hat is toward you and not visible to others.

Some people believe that it’s bad luck to put a hat on a bed. So when you take your hat off in someone’s home, look for a hat rack or some other place to put it.

See more at

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Canadian Tuxedo

… a ‘classic’ Canadian Tuxedo consists of a matching denim shirt and jeans accompanied by a denim jacket of the same maker (Faded Glory, Levi’s) and of the same shade. To be a true ‘Canadian’ the shades of denim must be identical as though both top and bottom were cut from the same roll at the factory.

See full article at

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

The Neck Verse

Until 1827, people charged in ordinary criminal courts could claim exemption from some punishments, especially capital punishment, by virtue of ‘benefit of clergy’, or being a professional member of the Church.

In 1305, even minor members of the church were granted 'benefit of clergy'. Defendants could satisfactorily prove their right to 'benefit of clergy' by demonstrating their literacy.

Defendants used to read an appropriate verse from the Bible. This was commonly verse 3 of Psalm 50.

As recitation of this verse was enough to escape hanging (offenders were branded on the thumb, to make sure that they could only claim this benefit once), it was known as the neck-verse.


Monday, 17 February 2014

Diary that’s eight times size of War and Peace

Meet Mr. John Gadd, 83, of Fontmell Magna in Great Britain.

He keeps a diary. He keeps the most incredible diary I have ever heard of. It is huge,  as in 21,000 pages, filling 151 volumes, and also contains some 33,000 photos and ephemera.

The diary dates back 66 years to 1947 and contains some four million pages.

See full article at

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Nori - brick & dwarf

Accrington bricks, or NORIs were a type of iron hard engineering brick, produced near Accrington, Lancashire, England from 1887 to 2008.

They were famed for their strength, and were used for the foundations of the Blackpool Tower and the Empire State Building.

See full article at


In J. R. R. Tolkien's The Hobbit, Nori was a Dwarf of Durin's folk who lived in the northern Blue Mountains (Ered Luin) in Thorin's Halls and later the restored Lonely Mountain (Erebor). He had two brothers named Dori, and Ori, and was a remote kinsmen of Thorin Oakenshield. His hood was purple, he played the flute, and he was very fond of regular and plentiful meals like his hobbit friend, Bilbo Baggins.

See full article at

Thursday, 13 February 2014

George Washington's Rules of Civility

1st. Every Action done in Company, ought to be with Some Sign of Respect, to those that are Present.

2nd. When in Company, put not your Hands to any Part of the Body, not usualy Discovered.

3rd. Shew Nothing to your Freind that may affright him.

4th. In the Presence of Others Sing not to yourself with a humming Noise, nor Drum with your Fingers or Feet.

5th. If You Cough, Sneeze, Sigh, or Yawn, do it not Loud but Privately; and Speak not in your Yawning, but put Your handkercheif or Hand before your face and turn aside.

6th. Sleep not when others Speak, Sit not when others stand, Speak not when you Should hold your Peace, walk not on when others Stop.

7th. Put not off your Cloths in the presence of Others, nor go out your Chamber half Drest.

8th. At Play and at Fire its Good manners to Give Place to the last Commer, and affect not to Speak Louder than Ordinary.

9th. Spit not in the Fire, nor Stoop low before it neither Put your Hands into the Flames to warm them, nor Set your Feet upon the Fire especially if there be meat before it.

10th. When you Sit down, Keep your Feet firm and Even, without putting one on the other or Crossing them.

11th. Shift not yourself in the Sight of others nor Gnaw your nails.

See full list at

Tuesday, 11 February 2014


Originally a flat spatula for flipping oatcakes on a griddle, the Spurtle is better known as a stick for stirring porridge.

Over time, this implement changed shape and began being used specifically for stirring oatmeal and soups.

It is similar to a wooden spoon without the bowl which was removed as it tears cooked oats apart.

It is in common use throughout Scotland.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Vampires & Mirrors

How do Vampires end up with perfect lipstick / hair when they can't see themselves in a mirror?

A Vampire considers buying a mirror. On reflection, nO.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Mohs Scale of Hardness

Mohs Scale was developed in 1812 by German mineralogist Friedrich Mohs (1773-1839)

Mohs Scale of hardness is a RELATIVE scale, not proportional. I mean by this that a mineral with the hardness of 8 will NOT be twice as hard as a 4. (For example, diamond is 4X harder than sapphire!).

It is really a scale of relative "scratchability".

#1 is softest..................#10 is hardest

  1. Talc
  2. Gypsum
  3. alcite
  4. Fluorite
  5. Apatite
  6. Feldspar
  7. Quartz
  8. Topaz
  9. Corundum
  10. Diamond


Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Ten Gallon Hat

A ten gallon hat is often thought to be large enough to hold ten gallons of water. This is not true (unless you have an exceptionally large head).

The gallon in "ten gallon hat" derives from the Spanish galón meaning braid. So a ten-gallon hat is a hat with a braiding around the brim.

A ten-gallon hat actually only holds 3/4 gallon or 3 quarts.


Monday, 3 February 2014

Odin and Thor

Odin was the chief god in the Norse mythology, and the father of Thor, Balder, Hoder, Tyr, Bragi, Heimdall, Ull, Vidar, Hermod and Vali. His wives were Fjorgyn, Frigga and Rind. He had a bad habit to roam around Midgard in human disguise seducing and impregnating women. This is why many mortals were able to trace their ancestry back to him.

Thor was the son of Odin and Fjorgyn. He was the god of thunder, the sky, fertility and the law. Armed with his strength-giving items, a belt and the hammer Mjölnir, he had a simple way of righting wrongs: he more or less killed everything that moved. The other gods -mostly Loki- occasionally took advantage of Thor's simplicity.

See more Viking Gods at

Saturday, 1 February 2014


A path, also known as a rhumb line, which cuts a meridian on a given surface at any constant angle but a right angle.

If the surface is a sphere, the loxodrome is a spherical spiral.

The loxodrome is the path taken when a compass is kept pointing in a constant direction.

It is a straight line on a Mercator projection or a logarithmic spiral on a polar projection (Steinhaus 1999, pp. 218-219).

The loxodrome is not the shortest distance between two points on a sphere.